New York Icons: Greenwich Village

Daniel Lanciana
44 min readMar 24, 2018

& West Village & Hudson Square & Meatpacking District

Greenwich Village

“The Village” was originally Native American marshland called Sapokanikan (“tobacco field”) and turned into the Dutch settlement of Noortwyck (“north district”) by freed Africans during the 1630s. Greenwich Street used to follow the Hudson River shoreline, with much of the neighborhood west on landfill. The trout-filled Minetta (“devil water”) Brook ran to the west and made the area a favorite spot for fishing and duck hunting.

From 1664, the tobacco “farm in the woods” developed as a separate built-up hamlet from the city of New York and was allowed to keep it’s street layout (in line with the Hudson River) during the Manhattan grid layout of 1811. In 1713, named either after the Dutch word of Groenwijck (“green district”) or Greenwich in England. From 1797 to 1829, the location of Newgate Prison — the city’s first — where the term “sent up the river” came into use. In 1822, a refuge from cholera and yellow fever outbreaks in the city. By mid-19th century, the largest African-American community — along with German, French and Irish immigrants.In the early 20th century, many smaller streets were demolished to build Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) was founded in 1980 “to preserve the architectural heritage and cultural history of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo. Landmarked areas include the Gansevoort Market Historic District (112 buildings), Weehawken Street Historic District (14 buildings) and Greenwich Village Historic District Extension (46 buildings).

Top-ten most expensive house prices in the US (as of 2014). The western part of Greenwich Village is known as the West Village (eastern border is debated, but assumed to be Sixth Avenue). The annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade started in 1974 by a local puppeteer and is now the world’s largest Halloween parade (over 60,000 participants, 2 million spectators, 100 million television audience) and America’s only major nighttime parade.

Notable residents include Edward Albee (playwright), Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Barbara Pierce Bush, Anderson Cooper, Robert De Niro, Brian De Palma, Leonardo DiCaprio, Maurice Evans (Shakespearean actor), Marc Jacobs, Annie Leibovitz, Edward Norton, Rosie O’Donnell, Mary-Kate Olsen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sean Parker, Edgar Allan Poe, Daniel Radcliffe, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Emma Stone, Uma Thurman, Marisa Tomei, Liv Tyler, Anna Wintour, Jim Carrey, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Andy Samberg, Claire Danes, Will Ferrell, Seth Meyers, Brooke Shields, and Robert Downey Jr.

Features in the films Rear Window, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Big Daddy, Chinese Coffee, I am Legend, Inside Llewyn Davis and television in The Cosby Show, Friends (one of the show’s working titles was Once Upon a Time in the West Village), Mad Men, and Sex and the City. In comics, Wonder Woman and Doctor Strange both live in the Village. The famous disco group Village People are named after Greenwich Village for its large gay population and similar clothing worn.

West Village

The western portion of Greenwich Village, starting in 1916 and known as “Little Bohemia” — an enclave of avant-garde and alternative culture.

In 1958, Off-Off-Broadway (coined by a critic in the Village Voice) began as a reaction to Off-Broadway and the “complete rejection of commercial theatre” — starting at coffeehouses such as Caffe Cino, La MaMa and Judson Poet’s Theatre. An artist’s heaven and Bohemian capital (similar to the Left Bank in Paris) during the 1960s, the cradle of the modern LGBT and Beatnik movements.

In the 1960s, played a major role in the development of folk music (Gerde’s Folk City, The Bitter End, Cafe Au Go Go, Cafe Wha?, The Gaslight Cafe and The Bottom Line) and jazz (The Village Gate, Village Vanguard, The Blue Note) scenes. Notable artists who got their starts in the Village include Jimi Hendrix; Barbra Streisand; Peter, Paul, and Mary; Bette Midler; Simon & Garfunkel; Liza Minnelli; James Taylor; the Clancy Brothers; Velvet Underground; the Kingston Trio; Joni Mitchell and Nina Simone. The Village has its own orchestra aptly named the Greenwich Village Orchestra.

Meatpacking District

“New York’s most fashionable neighborhood” is an Eight-block area of upper Greenwich Village that was originally Fort Gansevoort — and since the 1990s filled with high-end boutiques (Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Ed Hardy, Apple) and nightclubs (Tenjune, Provocateur, Cielo). The former site of the West Washington Street Market is now Gansevoort Peninsula (Pier 52) and currently a sanitation facility.

In 1840, construction of residences. By 1850s, freight yards of the Hudson River Railroad. In 1879, the Gansevoort Market (originally the “Farmer’s Market”) opened. In 1884, the West Washington Market relocated to the area. By 1900, home to 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants. In the 1970s, nightclubs and the gay scene emerged. In the 1980s, known for drug dealing, prostitution, and gay sex clubs (The Anvil, The Manhole, Mineshaft, Hellfire Club).

Hudson Square

Nestled between TriBeCa, SoHo, Greenwich Village and the Hudson River. Part of the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District — the largest concentration of Federalist and Greek Revival style row houses from the 19th century.

The neighborhood was home to the first African-American newspaper called Freedom’s Journal from 1827 to 1829.

*Note: Asterisk denotes a place I have yet to visit properly



The only four-corner crossing in the city with four different streets — Carmine, Clarkson, 7th Avenue and Varick.

5th Avenue. №33 was one of three Nikola Tesla New York laboratories.

6th Avenue. In 1945, the avenue was renamed “Avenue of the Americas” (a mouthful, didn’t catch on). In 1960, medallions appeared on lampposts; most taken down between 1990 and 1992; some survive between Canal and West 4th Street.

7th Avenue. №99 has been various jazz clubs: The Nut Club (cockroach races), The Pad, Lower Basin Street (Dave Brubeck) and Garage. Cnr 10th Street was Nick’s (Tavern), a jazz club that featured Bill Saxton and Phil Napoleon — and where Miles Davis and John Coltrane visited after their gigs.

14th Street. №200 is the earliest remaining French flat along 14th Street and known as the Jeanne d’ Arc (1889) for its stone statue of Joan of Arc above the entrance.

Barrow Street. №150 was the Keller Hotel (1898) that housed cruise ship travelers, then a flophouse for sailors, and finally the oldest gay “leather bar” in West Village (where disco was apparently born).

Bedford Street. №77½ is the narrowest house in the Village at 9½-foot wide, built in 1873 to fill an alleyway and home to John Barrymore and Cary Grant. №77 is the Isaacs-Hendricks House, the oldest (1799, brick front added 1836) house in the Village that was originally free-standing in undeveloped land. №90 is the apartment facade used in the television series Friends.

Bleecker Street.

№152 was Cafe Au Go Go (1964 to 1969), the first New York gig for the Grateful Dead (played ten times) and featuring Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Tim Buckley, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, The Doors and George Carlin. №155 was Arthur’s Tavern (1937, once the last continuously-operating jazz club in the city, performers Charlie Parker and Roy Hargrove) then The Back Fence from 1945 to 2013 (sawdust and peanut-shell covered floor, Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, Allen Ginsberg).

№160 was Village Gate (1958 to 1994) where performers such as John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Herbie Mann, Woody Allen, Patti Smith, Velvet Underground and Aretha Franklin (first New York) performed; sign still exists on the corner. №226 was the family-run Avignone Chemist — the oldest apothecary in the US (opened 1832, moved to Bleecker in 1929). №259 was Zito’s Bakery, open for 80 years and the longest continuously occupied store on the street until its closure in 2004.

Broadway. №647 was Pfaff’s, a basement cafe where poet Walt Whitman regularly visited before the Civil War.

Charles Street. №30 is a parallellogram-shaped building on a plot cut by 7th Avenue South.

Charlton Plaza. One of the smallest parks in the city at just 0.04 acres (left over from the extension of 6th Avenue).

Christopher Street. №15 was the world’s oldest (1967 to 2009) gay and lesbian bookstore, Oscar Wilde Bookshop. №392 is the last remaining Weehawken Market structure (1834 wooden shack) and later gay bars. №394 was Ramrod, which featured prominently in the film Cruising — and soon after its release a man fired an automatic weapon at the club killing two and wounding six.

Cornelia Street. №31 was Caffe Cino, the earliest (1958 to 1968) Off-Off-Broadway theaters in a coffeehouse — operated by a man who seldom read the plays, but rather took a liking to the people. Even if audiences failed to turn up, Cino insisted on a show — “do it for the room” he insisted! And after his death police issued summonses so often that actors had to leap offstage and sit, often in fantastic costumes, at tables with patrons! Artists included Sam Shepard and Al Pacino. Bronze plaque.

Gansevoort Street. By accident or design, aligns within one degree to the spring and autumnal equinoxes.

Greenwich Avenue. The divider between the Manhattan grid system and the Village is one of the oldest roads in Manhattan, going back to the colonial era as Monument Lane. №56 was Uncle Charlie’s Downtown (1981–1997), the “it” gay bar during the 1980s was so-called “S&M” (Stand and Model) — one of the first “video bars” where nobody spoke, but instead watched screens ; the owner was charged in a stabbing murder and fled to Panama.

Greenwich Street. №823 was El Faro (1927 to 2011), which opened at a time when the Village was full of Spanish sailors — earning it the nickname “Little Spain.”

Grove Street. Formerly Columbia, Cozine and Burrows Streets. Finally named after the lush greenery that once occupied the area. №17 is one of the oldest (1822) remaining wood frame house in the West Village and contains a Prohibition-era tunnel to Chumley’s (rumored to be from the Underground Railroad). №45 is the only Federal-style building left in the Village, where John Wilkes Booth conspired against Lincoln. №55 was the original Duplex, where Joan Rivers and Woody Allen got their starts.

Hudson Street. №282 was the Blues Bar, an unlicensed after-hours bar owned by Dan Akroyd and John Belushi who worked on their Blues Brothers act in 1978–79.

King Street. №84 was The Paradise Garage, a discotheque notable for dance, pop and LGBT nightlife.

Macdougal Street. №38 was the home of Eugine O’Neil. №130 was where the book Little Women was completed. №116 was the notable folk music coffeehouse The Gaslight Cafe (1958 to 1971), which had notable performances by Bill Cosby, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton.

Mercer Street. №240 was the site of the Lafarge Hotel , which hosted the 1850 Winter Garden Theatre — the only play featuring all three Booth brothers. Burned down 1967.

The Broadway Central hotel (1870), was the largest US hotel at the time. In 1872, James Fisk was shot dead on the grand stairway in a fight was over a prostitute. Diamond Jim Brady frequented the hotel’s restaurants. Russian immigrant Lev Bronshtein changed his name to Leon Trotsky after dining at the hotel’s Totsky’s Kosher Restaurant. In the first six months of 1972 alone, the hotel reported 22 robberies, one homicide, three rapes, seven petty larcenies, five grand larcenies, six felonious assaults, 18 drug-related crimes and 49 burglaries!

The Mercer Arts Center (1971) was “the Lincoln Center of Off-Broadway” — a 35,000 square space that occupied the first two floors and contained five off-Broadway theaters. It held punk band shows in the Blue Room (attended by Elton John, Susan Sontag, Andy Warhol and Fran Lebowitz). In 1973, the building collapsed (killing 4, caused by the illegal removal of a basement wall) only 20 minutes before the scheduled performance that evening!

Morton Street. №1 is luxury condo (2004) with notable residents Daniel Radcliffe, Oliver Stone, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson — who never moved in and spent five years trying to sell. №46 was the home of Sofia Coppola. №65 was the home of the first US civilians ever to be executed for espionage (as Soviet spies) in 1953!

Patchin Place. The last gaslight lamppost (circa 1860s, all others in the city are replicas) topped with a decorative eagle and fitted with an electric bulb stands behind a gated area.

Perry Street. №64 is Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from Sex & the City.

Sheridan Square. №1 was Café Society (1938 to 1948), the first racially integrated nightclub in the US — with notable performers Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Charlie Parker, Les Paul and Mary Ford.

St. Luke’s Place. The portion between the bend and Hudson Street is actually Leroy Street on the south side! №10 was the Huxtable family home in The Cosby Show.

Thompson Street. №181 was Rocco Ristorante (1922 to 2011), a classic red sauce Italian restaurant. №230 was the Village Chess Shop (1972, the oldest chess store in the Village, Russell Crowe once purchased a $500 board).

University Place.

№24/82 was the Cedar Tavern, which saw Jackson Pollock throw a bathroom door at Franz Kline, Kerouac urinate in an ashtray, Robert Motherwell’s weekly salon, and literary discussions by Allen Ginsberg or Bob Dylan. Hangout spot for Matt Dillon, Winona Ryder and Brad Pitt. A wooden phone booth was saved but later destroyed by hurricanes Irene and Sandy; the parts were given to artists and turned into exhibited works.

№110 was the original Bowlmor Lanes, the city’s oldest (1938 to 2014) bowling alley that hosted the prestigious Landgraf Tournament in 1942 and one of the first televised bowling tournaments in 1955. Vice President Richard Nixon famously bowled on a lane in 1958. A manager was once murdered in the alley. In 1999, it was the highest-grossing bowling alley in the US. Celebrities who have bowled here include Will Smith, members of The Strokes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Fallon and Al Pacino.

Varick Street. Cnr. Carlton was Mortier House is where in 1776 George Washington led the defense of New York against the British. №85 was where Steinway & Sons was founded in 1853.

Washington Place. №29 was the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, the deadliest industrial disaster in the city and one of the deadliest in history (146 deaths).

West 3rd Street.

№130 was Gerde’s Folk City (1960 to 1987) — one of the most influential American music clubs with a wide range of music. Bob Dylan played his first professional gig, debuted Blowin’ in the Wind, met Joan Baez, and the first gig of the Rolling Thunder Revue. Other notable artists include Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Mamas and The Papas, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Larry David, Jim Belushi, Steve Buscemi, Violent Femmes, Johnny Cash, Dinosaur Jr, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Simon and Garfunkel (as Kane & Garr), Patti Smith, Steely Dan and Muddy Waters.

West 4th Street. Originally Asylum Street. After ceding its name temporarily to Washington Square South, the street turns northwest and actually intersects 10th to 13th streets — proving that parallel lines do sometimes meet! №15 was The Bottom Line (1974 to 2004), a music venue that saw Bruce Springsteen (showcase gigs), Lou Reed (recorded an album), Eric Clapton, The Police, Prince, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Barry Manilow, Dire Straits, Dolly Parton, Ramones, Miles Davis, Dudley Moore, Joan Baez and Santana. No smoking policy long before it was a city law.

West 8th Street. №32 was 8th Street Bookshop (1947 to 1965), with ties to Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and poet Allen Ginsberg. №52 was The Village Barn Restaurant (1930 to 1967), the city’s only Western-themed night club — complete with hobby horse racing, square dancing, musical chairs and turtle races!

West 10th Street. Originally Amos Street. №7 is the Lockwood De Forest House (1887) once described as “the most Indian house in America” with a carved teakwood balcony, window, bannisters and settee; teakwood archway; intricate lattice-work; stenciled brass ceiling and oriental furnishings (much of the interior detailing was removed in 1922). №14 was the home of Mark Twain in 1900. №18 was the home of Emma Lazarus, the poet who wrote the famous line “give me your poor, your huddled masses.” №45 is the Petter Warren building, home of the first architectural school in America and former apartment of Julia Roberts. №50 was the home of Edward Albee, author of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? №51 was the Tenth Street Studio, the first (1857) modern facility designed solely for artists and the center of the New York art world for the remainder of the 19th century. №183 was the original Pleasure Chest (1971), a narrow 47" wide (!) store that started by selling waterbeds and soon pivoted to become the first adult retailer not to block out store windows and hide merchandise; customers include Victoria and David Beckham, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Queen Latifah and Olivia Munn; featured in Sex & The City (leading to the sale of over 10,000 Rabbit vibrators).

West 11th Street. Originally Hammond Street. №18 has a wedge angle caused by a bomb detonated by the Weather Underground — a radical left movement that opposed the Vietnam War; three of the terrorists were killed in the blast and the fourth had her clothes blown off and proceeded to disappear for ten years! Neighbor Dustin Hoffman was summoned to identify the parts! For over 32 years (until 2013), a Paddington Bear in the window changed costumes according to the season.

West 12th Street. Originally Troy Street.

West 13th Street. №118 was Katharine House (1910 to 2000), one of the last city residences for young women new to the city; currently a New School dormitory.

West Broadway. Named Lorenz Street and nicknamed “Rotten Row” due to the numerous brothels. Briefly renamed South Fifth Avenue before the 1870s.

West Street. №357 was the Kullman Diner (formerly the Terminal, Lunchbox and Lost diners), sandwiched between buildings and abandoned since 2006.

Cobble Court* (early 1800s)

A farmhouse moved from its original location (including cobblestones) at 71st and York Avenue in 1967 by the owners who refused to let the property be demolished. Believed to have been a restaurant in the early 1900s, and later the studio of the author of Goodnight Moon. In 2014, the property was briefly (and mysteriously) listed for sale for $20 million.

Ear Inn (1817)

One of the oldest bars in the city — built by one of George Washington’s aides on the former house of James Brown, an African-American aid to George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

A speakeasy during Prohibition and later a nameless bar known simply as “The Green Door” (until 1977) when it was named after Ear Magazine, which operated upstairs. To bypass the fee required to change the landmark sign, the ‘b’ in “bar” was altered to an ‘e’.

William Hyde House* (1822)

The only large private wooden house in Manhattan and originally two stories; gaining the top floor in 1870. Built as an advertisement to the builder’s window-making ability — with workshop located behind the house.

Church of St. Luke in the Fields* (1822)

Named to evoke a pastoral quality for those escaping the yellow fever epidemic. The first pastor was the author of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Surrounded by two aces of gardens open to the public.

Moved north in the 1880s. Actively involved in the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Participates in the annual Gay Pride March and hosts a Festive Choral Evensong after the march. Featured in the film Doubt.

New York University (NYU) (founded 1831)

Since the 1970s, most of NYU’s hundred-plus buildings in Manhattan are located within a 230-acre area surrounding Washington Square Park. The seventh-largest university housing system in the US (one of the largest among private schools) with around 11,000 residents. The Washington Square Arch is the unofficial symbol of the university and until 2007, commencement ceremonies were held in the park. In the 1990s it became a “two square” university by expanding around Union Square.

Northern Dispensary* (1831)

The only building in New York with one side on two streets, and two sides on one street! Built to provide medical services (Edgar Allen Poe was treated in 1837, closed in the 1980s after being sued for refusing to treat a man with AIDS), then a dental clinic, and eventually vacant since 1998. Deed restrictions state the property has to be used to provide medical care to the “worthy poor.”

In 1998, purchased by William Gottlieb — a real-estate mogul who owned about one hundred buildings in the city with an estimated worth of $1 billion, but who dressed like a bum, drove a beat-up station wagon, and carried his papers in a shopping bag!

C.O. Bigelow Chemists* (1838)

The oldest apothecary-pharmacy in the US which continues to make handmade prescriptions with a focus on natural ingredients. Serviced the Roosevelts, Mark Twain, and John Belushi!

Washington Mews* (1830s)

The only mews in the city and oldest cobbled street (1830s); lies behind a gated street belonging to NYU. In 1916, the stables were converted to studios where Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was an early resident.

Church of the Ascension* (1841, founded 1827)

The first church to be built on Fifth Avenue by the same designer as Trinity Church. In 1844, President John Tyler secretly married Julia Gardiner (first from a sitting President, 30-years his younger). In 1885, remodeled by Stanford White and featuring marble by the brother of Augustus Saint-Gaudens and stained-glass windows by John LaFarge — including one of his best works The Ascension (30-foot by 35-foot, resemblance to his mistress).

In 1929, in response to the Wall Street Crash the church opened its doors 24/7 earning it the name “The Church of the Open Door” — a policy that remained in place for decades (presently only the windows are illuminated at night). In 2011, the first French-built organ to be installed in the city.

St. Denis Offices* (1853)

Designed by James Renwick (of Grace Church fame) and originally named the St. Denis Hotel (1853) it was considered “one of the handsomest buildings on Broadway.” Rebuilt in 1875 following a fire in 1873.

Lodgers included Abraham and Mary Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt, P.T. Barnum, Colonel William “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Chester A. Arthur. In 1877, Alexander Graham Bell gave his first New York demonstration of the telephone. During the 1920s, sold and gutted for office space. Featured in the film Cruising.

Grove Court (1854)

Six townhouses hidden in an alley between №10 and №12 Grove Street. Constructed as “backhouses” to hide the poor leading to the nicknames “Pig Alley” and “Mixed Ale Alley” (after bottom-of-the-barrel liquor). In the 1920s, sold by Trinity Church. In the 1950s, survived a plan to raze the townhouses. One of a few private enclaves in the city.

Washington Square Methodist Episcopal Church* (1860)

“The Peace Church” opposed the Vietnam War and had the city’s first openly gay clergyman from 1973 to 1984. The clergy moved in 2004, currently luxury condos.

Julius’* (circa 1867)

Claimed to be the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the city; however the management harassed gay customers until 1966. Popular watering hole during the 1930s and 1940s, attracting gay patrons by the late 1950s. Tables and chairs are stamped “Jacob Ruppert” and made from brewery barrels, while the foot rail is a string of brass beagles. Patrons include Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Rudolf Nureyev.

In 1966, members of the Mattachine Society staged a “Sip-in” at the bar by identifying themselves as homosexuals in order to bring attention to discrimination (gays were considered “disorderly” and refused service). The subsequent court challenge overturned the rules and ushered in the era of legal gay bars. Hosts monthly Mattachine party.

Featured in the films Boys in the Band, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, Love is Strange, and Stonewall (dramatization moved the denial of service to the Stonewall Inn).

Washington Square Park (1871)

Once a marsh (in which Minetta Creek ran through), 17th century Native American village of Sapokanican (“Tobacco Field”), Dutch farmland then “Land of the Blacks” or “Little Africa” — a “free” (children would be born as slaves) African slave colony from 1643 to 1664 serving as a buffer zone from the hostile Native Americans.

In 1797, a potter’s field (i.e. public burial ground) where victims of yellow fever were buried safely away from the town — more than 20,000 bodies still lie under the park. In 1826, leveled and converted to a military parade ground. In the 1830s, one of the city’s most desirable areas. In 1834, the first labor march in the city by stonemasons — protesting NYU’s decision to use Sing Sing prison labor — escalated to a riot. In 1849, the first park on the site (redesigned to the current park in 1871). In 1852, the first fountain (replaced 1872). In 1888, Robert Stevenson met with Mark Twain.

In 1889, on the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration a temporary plaster and wood arch was erected — but proved so popular that a 77-foot marble version designed by Stanford White (modeled on the Arc de Triomphe) was erected in 1892 (during excavation human remains were uncovered). The north side of the arch features Washington as Fame and Valor, while the west has Justice and Wisdom (holding a book bearing the Latin phrase “the end justifies the means”) — commonly referred to as Washington at War and Washington at Peace respectively. A small door leads to a 102-step spiral staircase to the top, where Marcel Duchamp set off balloons proclaiming the founding of “The Independent Republic of Greenwich Village!”

In 1912, approximately 20,000 workers (including 5,000 women) marched to commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, which had killed 146 workers the year before. In 1915, over 25,000 people marched over women’s suffrage. In 1934, Robert Moses renovated the fountain to serve as a wading pool. In 1952, Robert Moses embarked on a three-decade crusade to extend Fifth Avenue through the park — which was ultimately defeated by local activists including Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Jacobs. In 1961, the Beatnik Riot between folksingers protesting over permits to play in the park.

Rumored to contain a 350-year-old hanging tree named “Hangman’s Elm” in the northwest corner, but records suggest it was in the back garden of a private house. The park also forms the cornerstone of Manhattan’s “chess district” — where Stanley Kubrick and Bobby Fisher regularly played in the park; and surrounded by a number of chess shops. Statues of Giuseppe Garibaldi (1888, Italian patriot who lived in the city whilst in exile), Alexander Holley (American engineer who helped start the steel industry), and George Washington (two statues, 1918). Pair of resident hawks, Bobby and Rossie.

During the 1950s and 1960s, a gathering area for the Beat generation and hippie movements. In 1958, Buddy Holly spent time in the park while residing nearby. In the mid-1960s, Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada sat beneath a tree in the park and chanted Hare Krishna to the people. In 2007, Barack Obama held a rally to over 20,000 people. In 2016, a rally by Bernie Sanders.

Featured in the films Barefoot in the Park, I Am Legend, August Rush, Kids, Searching for Bobby Fischer, When Harry Met Sally and Fresh.

Jefferson Market Library* (1877)

Originally a tall wooden fire lookout tower built circa 1833 and named after the Thomas Jefferson. In 1877, underwent construction of the Jefferson Market Courthouse — designed to look like a “Cathedral of Justice” complete with stained-glass windows, decorative fountain and tympanum of The Merchant of Venice. Since 1967, a branch of the NYPL. From 1996, after 135 years “Ol’ Jeff” — the fire bell — was reactivated and rings hourly from 9am to 10pm.

White Horse Tavern* (1880)

One of the Village’s oldest pubs and a major gathering place for Bohemians during the 1950s and 1960s. Notable patrons include Jason Mitchell, Dylan Thomas (who drank heavily and later died at the Chelsea Hotel), James Baldwin, The Clancy Brothers, Bob Dylan, Richard Farina, Michael Harrington, Jane Jacobs, Seymour Krim, Norman Mailer, Jim Morrison, Delmore Schwartz, Hunter S. Thompson, Mary Travers and Jack Kerouac (who was thrown out more than once). The Village Voice was conceived in the tavern, which was also mentioned by Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother and The Carrie Diaries.

Judson Memorial Church* (1893)

Named after the first American missionary sent abroad and designed by Stanford White, with stained-glass windows by John La Farge (Angel in Adoration features his mistress) and a baptistery marble freeze designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Beginning in the 1950s, the church supported artists who could work without fear of censorship. In 1957, the gallery space was given to Robert Rauschenberg. In 1959, works by Yoko Ono were exhibited. In 1961, The Judson Poet’s Theatre began (as one of the four original Off-Off-Broadway venues) with a play by Joel Oppenheimer, and later, works by Sam Shepherd. In 1962, The Judson Dance Theatre formed who contributed to the creation of postmodern dance. In 1970, hosted the People’s Flag Show in which three artists were arrested, both pastors issued summons (not followed-up), and the exhibition forcibly closed for desecration of the American flag. Renovated in 2006.

Cable Building (1894)

Originally the headquarters and power station for the Metropolitan Traction Company, designed by Stanford White and the primary power station for cables running under Broadway from Bowling Green to 36th Street. The most expensive system on a per-mile basis of any in the nation, with a fleet of 125 cable cars travelled at 30mph and served 100,000 daily passengers. Spanning an entire block, the basement was excavated to house four 32-foot cable winding wheels and four large steam engines. The western entrance features two 11-foot statues — the figure on the right originally held a sword, which was broken off in the 1920s and incorrectly replaced.

Obsolete just eight years later with the introduction of electricity. In 1901, the last cable car in the city left Battery Station. In 1989, the basement converted to the original Angelika Film Center, which features in Snowball Effect: The Story of Clerks.

In 2015, Shia LaBeouf invited the public to join him as he marathon-watched his 29 films back-to-back while live streamed.

Keller Hotel* (1898)

Built as sailor lodgings, then single-room hotel before closing and remaining vacant for over fifteen years. An early-20th-century Edward Hopper sign hangs on the corner. Keller’s bar, possibly the oldest gay leather bar in the city at that time, opened around 1959.

Marlton House* (1900)

Hotel Marlton was a popular residency during the during the peak of the bohemian scene. Notable guests include Galo Plaza (former President of Ecuador, born in the hotel in 1906!), Jack Kerouac (who wrote The Subterraneans and Tristessa while living here), Edna St. Vincent Millay, Lenny Bruce (during his 1964 trial for obscenity), Lillian Gish (room 408), John Barrymore, Kay Francis, John Neville, Claire Boom, Julia Andrews, Mickey Rourke, John Lithgow, and Valerie Solanas (who was staying in room 214 when she shot Andy Warhol in 1968).

Jane Hotel (1908)

Originally the American Seamen’s Friend Society Sailors’ Home and Institute it once featured a chapel, concert hall, bowling alley, and polygonal observatory. Housed the survivors of the RMS Titanic. In 1944, taken over by the YMCA (who removed a lighthouse on the tower). Later known as The Jane West and later the Riverview Hotel. By the 1960s filled with drug addicts and prostitutes. In the 1970s, the ballroom was converted into the Off-Broadway Theatre for the New City that put on Hedwig and the Angry Inch and tick, tick … BOOM! In the mid-1980s, drag performer RuPaul lived in the tower. In 2008, renovated into a boutique hotel (residents took the developer to court and even barricaded doors). In 2009, the former auditorium (The Ballroom) became a trendy nightspot that was closed down numerous times for noise complaints.

Edward Hopper Studio* (1913)

Home and studio of the famous American artist from 1913 until his death in 1967. Located in a NYU building, the studio has been preserved and visits available by special appointment.

Dante (1915)

Formerly Caffe Dante — reopened in 2017 retaining the original tin ceiling, checkered floor, banquettes and hand-painted signs and facade. Famous patrons include Anais Nin, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Maplethorpe, Patti Smith, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld and Bob Dylan.

Salmagundi Club* (1917, founded 1871)

Fine arts center and the oldest artist’s club in the US; likely named after Washington Irving’s Salmagundi Papers. In 1894, artist-decorated mugs were auctioned off and many have since been returned and on display — along with the largest collection of artist’s palettes in the US. In 1973, the club began admitting women. Notable members include Norman Rockwell, Stanford White and Winston Churchill (honorary).

Provincetown Playhouse* (1918, founded 1916)

Named for the Provincetown Players artist collective, of whom one of the original “players” was Eugene O’Neill. E.E. Cummings ran his plays in the building and Bette Davis made her New York stage debut in 1929.

SoHo Playhouse (1920s)

Once Mortier House on Richmond Hill — a colonial mansion that served as headquarters for George Washington during the Revolutionary War — and the residences of John Adams then later Aaron Burr (who set out for his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton from this house). Purchased by John Jacob Astor with the original mansion placed on logs and rolled 45-feet (to make way for Charlton Street) where it survived as a tavern until 1849. Developed into the Huron Club, a meeting house and night club for the Democratic Party and later Tammany Hall.

The main floor was transformed into a theatre in the 1920s and operated as the Village South during the 1960s (run by Edward Albee, who wrote Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? at the time). Currently an Off-Broadway theatre with basement space, The Huron Club.

Cherry Lane Theatre* (1924)

The city’s oldest continuously running Off-Broadway theater was built as a farm silo in 1817 and also served as a tobacco warehouse and box factory. Known for non-traditional and experimental works by the Theatre of the Absurd and The Living Theatre. Bea Arthur began her acting career here in the mid-1940s.

In 1951, a run of Pablo Picasso’s Desire Caught by the Tail. In 1957, hosted one of Samuel Beckett’s first productions of Endgame. In 1961, the world premier of Beckett’s Happy Days. In 1982, the New York premier of Sam Shepard’s True West starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. Hosted early musical performances by Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger.

Holland Tunnel (1927)

The tunnel extends under the Hudson River from Hudson Square, but the entrance (and blog entry) is in the TriBeCa post.

Caffe Reggio* (1927)

The founder introduced America to the first cappuccino in the early 1920s. Contains the original 1902 espresso machine and Medici family bench, where patrons can admire a painting from the school of Caravaggio. In 1959, presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy made a speech outside the coffee shop.

The Caffe Reggio has been featured in many movies including The Godfather Part II, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, The Kremlin Letter, Shaft, Serpico, The Next Man, In Good Company, and Inside Llewyn Davis.

Marshall Chess Club (1931, founded 1915)

The second oldest chess club in the US and long-time rival of the Manhattan Chess Club (1877 to 2002). Occupies two floors of a townhouse, which it owns. Place where José Raúl Capablanca gave his last exhibition, Alexander Alekhine played speed chess, and the and thirteen-year-old Bobby Fischer played “The Game of the Century.” In 1965, Bobby Fischer also competed in a Cuban tournament via Teletype from the club.

Notable members of the club include Fabiano Caruana, Arthur Dake, Larry Evans, Reuben Fine, Bobby Fischer, Stanley Kubrick, Edmar Mednis, Hikaru Nakamura, Fred Reinfeld, Anthony Santasiere, Herbert Seidman, James Sherwin, Albert Simonson, Andy Soltis, Howard Stern and Marcel Duchamp — whose photograph hangs on the wall.

Village Vanguard* (1935)

In a former speakeasy — The Golden Triangle (the space is a triangular basement) — the club originally featured folk music and beat poetry but switched to all-jazz in 1957. Hosted Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jimmy Giuffre, Anita O’Day, Charlie Mingus, Bill Evans (a regular), Stan Getz and Carmen McRae. Site of famous recording sessions by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane.

John’s of Bleecker Street* (1934, founded 1929)

“John’s Pizzeria” was originally on Sullivan Street and has wooden booths where any patron can carve their name. Whole pies only.

Minetta Tavern (1937, reopened 2009)

Formerly The Black Rabbit during Prohibition (until 1929) and later opened as a modest eatery for struggling writers and artists. Early customers included E.E. Cummings, Dylan Thomas, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and Franz Kline. Original wooden bar, hand-cut stained-glass shelving and walls covered with art (Franz Kline paid for meals with caricatures) and photographs. Sits atop the now-covered Minetta brook.

The most intriguing customer was Joe Gould, a homeless self-professed Village bohemian who made the tavern his “headquarters” — as owners paid him in spaghetti to sit near the window to attract tourists! In 1942, an article in the New Yorker made him an international celebrity. Claimed he was writing a 9-million word opus titled The Oral History of Our Time, which never existed.

In 1922, Reader’s Digest was founded in the basement. In 2009, reopened (closed 2008) as a Keith McNally restaurant with French menu. The portrait of Joe Gould was taken off the wall and added to McNally’s private collection. Characters featured in the Dave Gilbert video game Blackwell series.

Fedora* (1952, reopened 2011)

Restaurant and speakeasy (since 1917) with original pressed-tin ceiling, phone booths, rotary phone, walls covered with drawings and photographs (napkin signed by Lauren Becall), and an Oscar for Best Continuing Performance Off-Broadway — given as a birthday gift! After closing in 2010 reopened as a contemporary supper club; only the iconic neon sign remains.

The Brevoort* (1955)

Originally the site of The Brevoort Hotel (1851) — named after the last Dutch landowner and where Charles Lindbergh received his $25,000 Orteig Prize for completing a solo flight across the Atlantic. Eugene O’Neil was also a patron. The current residential apartments housed Buddy Holly (recorded a series of acoustic songs known as the “Apartment Tapes” which were released after his death) and Carmine DeSapio — the last Tammany Hall boss.

Beatrice Inn* (1955, reopened 2012)

Former speakeasy purchased by a couple who were married at the Inn in 1951. Working fireplaces, pink walls, cellar beams formed by a tree and 75-cent martinis. Charles Kuralt was a regular and dedicated the final chapter of his best-seller to the place. Woody Allen shot scenes for Another Woman. One of the last places in the city where smoking wasn’t frowned upon. Closed 2005.

From 2006 to 2009 transformed into a super hip spot where A-list celebrities could party with people off the street (not unlike Studio 54). Very tight door policy, multiple rooms, large bathroom (could fit 20 people, one toilet), smoking, and low-ceiling dance floor playing eclectic music.

Celebrities included the Olsen twins, Lindsay Lohan, Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols manager), Kirsten Dunst, Kate Moss, Chloë Sevigny, Robert Pattinson, Björk (DJing from her iPod), Donatella Versace, Prince, Jay-Z (the first time hip-hop was played because he would only play his music), Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes — who arrived at 4:30am with a Louis Vuitton briefcase handcuffed to his arm — where they went to the DJ booth and played his new record! Shut by the city in 2009 for repeated violations with a lock on a door that read “Beatrice Inn. Detriment to Life”!

In 2012, reopened as fine dining restaurant complete with black truffle-shaved burger, duck immolated in Cognac fires, Beluga caviar-topped sole, single malt Scotch-infused steak, creme brûlée piped inside cow femur, handheld fried apple pie (ala. McDonalds) dipped in foie gras caramel sauce — and a Tomahawk rib-eye wrapped in a whiskey-soaked cloth for six months (over $900)!

The Bitter End (1961)

A 230-person capacity nightclub, coffeehouse and folk music venue that began as a coffeeshop and is considered to be “New York’s oldest rock club.” During the early 1960s the club hosted Folk music “hootenannies” every Tuesday night. In 1975, changed its name to The Other End for a few years.

Comedian include George Carlin, Woody Allen, Billy Crystal, Bill Cosby, Cheech & Chong, Joan Rivers, Jon Stewart, Ray Romano, Richard Pryor and Steven Wright.

Musicians include Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Berry, Curtis Mayfield, Frank Zappa, James Taylor, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Kenny Rogers, Kris Kristofferson, Lady Gaga (as Stefani Germanotta Band), Lana Del Rey (as Lizzy Grant), Lisa Loeb, Liza Minnelli, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Nina Simone, Norah Jones, Patti Smith, Randy Newman, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Grateful Dead, Tori Amos, Tracy Chapman and Van Morrison!

Tisch School of the Arts* (1965)

TTSOA is the NYU center for the study of performing and media arts (acting, dance, theatre) named after the Tisch family, which gave a large donation in 1985. Founded in 1974, the drama department is one of the world’s largest (1,400 students) and has the most alumni working in Broadway theatre. Facilities include the Skirball Center for Performing Arts (opened 2003, 850-seats, John Kerry, Al Gore, Justin Trudeau), Eisner-Lubin Auditorium (560-seats), Kimmel Center and NYU Game Center.

Notable alumni include Mahershala Ali, Nina Arianda, Tony Kushner, Adam Sandler, Alec Baldwin, Sarah Silverman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeremy Piven, Lady Gaga, Kristen Johnson, Bill Paxton, Jason Ritter, Angelina Jolie, Simon Helberg, Michaela Conlin, Zach Woods, Skeet Ulrich, Joel Coen, Billy Crystal, Ang Lee, Jim Jarmusch, Charlie Kaufman, Spike Lee, Eli Roth, Andy Samberg, Martin Scorsese, M. Night Shyamalan, Morgan Spurlock, Donald Glover, and Oliver Stone.

Westbeth Artists Housing* (1966, opened 1898)

Originally Bell Telephone Laboratories, the largest industrial research center in the US until closing in 1966. Inventions here included the first transistor, experimental talking movies, binary computer, television broadcast, black and white TV, color TV, video telephones, radar, and vacuum tube. Location for part of the Manhattan Project during World War II — at which time an elevated train line passed through the building.

One of the first adaptive reuse projects in the US when converted to the world’s largest artist residence (384 artists) and named after the cross streets West and Bethune. Features various commercial and performance spaces (roof dance studio, galleries, basement music studio, pottery, printmaking) and an iconic courtyard. Housed the first LGBT synagogue in the city and largest in the world. Waiting list for residence is ten years!

Notable residents include Diane Arbus (photographer, committed suicide in her apartment), Vin Diesel’s parents, Ralph Lee (founder of the Village Halloween Parade, which started at Westbeth Street for the first few years), Robert De Niro Sr., Robert Beauchamp and Anita Hoffman.

University Village (1967)

The “Silver Towers” are owned by NYU and contain two towers of residences plus one tower for required low-income housing. Designed by I.M.Pei’s (who designed the pyramid glass structure at the Louvre in Paris).

The plaza features a 36-foot reproduction known as the Bust of Sylvette (1968), which is based on Picasso’s Sylvette (1934) and created in collaboration with the artist. The original sculpture was 2-feet-tall and made of paper.

Stonewall Inn (1967, reopened 1990)

Originally constructed in 1846 as stables, then a tearoom named Bonnie’s Stone Wall during Prohibition, and later a restaurant named Bonnie’s Stonewall Inn. Gutted by a fire in the mid-1960s. In 1966, Mafia boss “Fat Tony” converted it into the largest gay establishment in the US — and the only gay bar where dancing was permitted. Police raids were common (generally once a month) and with no liquor license, many bars kept additional liquor behind secret panels or in cars on the street in order to resume business following the raids. An original raid sign hangs in the entrance.

In 1969, a police raid turned into the Stonewall Riot after long delays and a scuffle — trapping police officers inside the Inn until a tactical force eventually arrived. Widely considered the single most important event leading to the Gay Liberation movement. In 1970, the first Gay Pride March departed from the Inn to Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Today the march takes place on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the riot.

Closed a few months after the riots, opened in Miami beach in 1972 (burned down 2 years later), and in 1990 reopened in the western half of the original building. The first LGBT landmarked building in the city and in 2016, the area around the Inn was designated America’s first LGBT national park site. Memorial sculpture (1992) across the street in Christopher Park. Featured in the film Stonewall.

Marie’s Crisis* (1972)

First opened in the 1850s as a prostitutes’ den, a boy bar by the 1890s, and lasting through Prohibition as Marie DuMont’s “bohemian restaurant with piano music” (a bronze plaque sits on an outside wall). The “crisis” was taken from The (American) Crisis by Thomas Paine — who apparently died in the building (next to where the cash register stands today, a mural lies in the bar). Marie’s Crisis might be the city’s only non-amplified, sing-along piano bar that generally plays show tunes. Mirror depicting scenes from the French and American Revolutions.

Thirteenth Street Repertory Theater* (1972)

One of the oldest Off-Off-Broadway theaters run by the “mother of the Village” — who moved to the city on the back of a lover’s motorcycle when she was 50 (now 100) after quitting her job as a kindergarten teacher. A Village fixture known for her charmed bohemian existence, she lives above the theatre with six artists who were offered lodging years ago and never left.

According to lore, Tennessee Williams shortly before his death proclaimed here that the future of American theater was not on Broadway, but in small playhouses. The building’s cellar is believed to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Best known for Touch (nominated for a Grammy), Boy Meets Boy (hit gay musical) and Line — the longest running play in the city (1974, ran twice a week for over 40 years). Hasn’t been a fully-staffed theatre for over a decade.

Grey Art Gallery* (1975, founded 1958)

NYU fine art museum with around 6,000 works by Picabia (Resonateur), Glarner (Relational Painting), Picasso (Bust of Sylvette, installed in University Village), Cornell (Chocolat Menier), Matisse, Mirò, Kooning, Rauschenberg and Gorky.

The gallery is housed in the Silver Center (formerly the Main Building) on the site on NYU’s original University Building (1835 to 1894), where many famous artists and writers (Samuel Colt, Winslow Homer, George Inness, Henry James) worked. First academic art department in the US.

West Fourth Street Courts (1977)

“The Cage” was founded by a limousine driver and has become one of the most important sites for street basketball. Noted for its non-regulation size and fierce competition, it attracts over 100,000 spectators each summer. Notable players include NBA stars Anthony Mason, Smush Parker and Dr. J.

Former site of the Golden Swan Café (mid-1880s) which had a gilded life-size swan perched outside the three-storey building — known to regulars as the “Hell Hole” due to gangsters, gamblers and Tammany Hall politicians. Former prizefighter Thomas Wallace lived upstairs and died on premises. Frequented by Eugene O’Neill who immortalized it as Harry Hope’s Saloon in The Iceman Cometh. Demolished 1928.

Time Landscape* (1978)

Small land artwork named Time Landscape containing plants native to the area in pre-colonial times (around 500 years ago). The southern part of the plot represents the youngest stage birch trees, hazelnut shrubs and wildflowers; central plot features beech trees and a woodland of red cedar, black cherry and witch hazel; northern area has mature woodlands with oaks, white ash and elms. Among the numerous other species in this mini-forest are sassafras, sweetgum, tulip trees, arrowwood, dogwood, bindweed, catbrier vines and violets.

Comedy Cellar (1982)

Comedy club with shows consisting of five to seven comics performing short sets and hanging out upstairs at the restaurant, The Olive Tree Cafe.

Popular for drop-ins by celebrities such as Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Jim Norton, Patrice O’Neal, Darrell Hammond (SNL), Rich Vos, Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Nikki Glaser and Amy Schumer. Even singers Madonna and John Mayer have performed comedy routines! Featured in the Jerry Seinfeld documentary Comedian, Chris Rock’s Top Five, Louis C.K.’s series Louie, and a 2006 Pepsi commercial starring Jimmy Fallon.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center* (1983)

“The Center” is housed in the historic Food and Maritime Trades High School building. During the 1990s played host to more than three hundred groups including ACT UP, Queer Nation, Lesbian Avengers and GLADD. Keith Haring’s final major mural Once Upon a Time (1989) is located in a (non-public) bathroom.

New York City Fire Museum* (1987, established 1934)

Housed in the Engine Company №30 building (built 1904), with a collection of over 10,000 objects (only 3% on display at any one time) from the 1650s to 9/11.

Cafe Wha?* (1987, opened 1959)

The original club was sold in 1968 but renamed back in 1987. Notable performers include Bob Dylan (debut gig in 1961); Jimi Hendrix (who was recruited here by his manager); Bruce Springsteen (began his career); The Velvet Underground; Kool and the Gang; Peter, Paul & Mary; Woody Allen; Lenny Bruce; Joan Rivers; Allen Ginsberg; Ritchie Havens; Jerry Lee Lewis; Little Richard; Jack Kerouac; Bill Cosby (began his career) and Richard Pryor (began his career). Featured in the film Shaft (1971).

Film Forum (1990, established 1970)

The only autonomous nonprofit cinema in the city and one of the few in the US. Founded on the second floor on 88th Street with a breadbox-sized 16mm projector, pull-down screen and fifty folding chairs. In 1975, moved to SoHo (only open on weekends). In 1990, relocated to its current location — open 365 days a year!

Hosted hundreds of special guests including The Nicholas Brothers, Laurie Anderson, Oscar Isaac, Leslie Caron, Jonathan Demme, Melvin van Peebles, Patti Smith, Frederick Wiseman, Jeanne Moreau, and Agnes Varda. Currently under renovation to add a fourth screen.

Life Underground (mid-1990s)

Around 130 political cartoon-inspired (Thomas Nast’s cartoons of Boss Tweed in the 1870s, “the impossibility of life in New York”) sculptures titled Life Underground hidden all over the 8th Avenue subway station. Aboveground displays were installed in the mid-1990s, with underground sculptures installed between 2001 and 2004. Some works are inspired by urban legends such as alligators in the subway. The artist donated more sculptures than contracted to deliver.

Soho House (2003, founded 1995)

Exclusive private member club primarily focused on creatives started in Soho, London. Members are forbidden from using their phones, identifying fellow members on social media, or describing events that take place within the building. The first New York location (in Meatpacking, not SoHo) is housed in a converted warehouse with 44 bedrooms, bars, library, restaurant, screening room, rooftop with pool and spa. Currently 18 clubs around the world, 50,000 members and a waiting list of over 30,000 people.

In 2010, hundreds of corporate members were kicked out in order to “get the club back to its creative roots.” In 2010, swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay was murdered and found dead in a hotel bathroom. Featured in Sex and the City.

IFC Center (2005)

Originally a 19th century church and later the Waverly Theatre (also an art house cinema), each theatre is equipped with 35mm and HD digital video. The complex also features digital editing suites, a meeting area and restaurant (The Waverly).

The weekly series “At the Angelika” (filmed at the nearby Angelika cinema) was relocated and renamed to “At the IFC” and also hosts weekly “Waverley midnight” screenings. The original audience-participation screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which inspired similar screenings in other cities. Hosts the DOC NYC and Human Rights Watch film festivals. Referenced in the Broadway play Hair.

Palazzo Chupi* (2005)

Residential condos designed by Oscar-nominated artist Julian Schnabel consisting of five palatial units in the style of a Northern Italian palazzo — built on top of a former horse stable and painted scarlet. The name is taken from a Spanish lollipop called Chupa Chups. Filled with sculpted fireplaces, works of art, and 40-foot basement pool.

Li-Lac Chocolates (2005, founded 1923)

French-inspired confectionaries with the original store located at №120 Christopher Street (until 2005), when a flagship store was created on Eighth Avenue and production moved to Brooklyn. One of the largest selections (over 120 items) of handmade gourmet chocolate in the US. The 1923 price for each chocolate was 23 cents. Currently in four locations.

The Waverly Inn* (2006, building 1844)

Formerly a carriage house, tea house (popular with Robert Frost and Edna St. Vincent May) then the Ye Waverly Inn & Garden tavern and bordello. Reopened in 2006 by the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair as an exclusive restaurant — but retained the uneven wooden floors, low ceilings, fireplaces and ivy-covered patio. Site of numerous ghost sightings over the years.

The Standard, High Line (2009)

Luxury boutique hotel raised 57-feet above street level and 30-feet above the High Line park. All 338 rooms have unobstructed views of Manhattan and/or the Hudson River. The hotel includes an outdoor plaza (Top of The Standard, art installations, winter ice rink), restaurant (The Standard Grill, reclaimed brick facade, open until 4am), biergarten, disco bar (Le Bain, seasonal jacuzzi, rooftop) and exclusive club (Boom Boom Room, cocktails, live music, rooftop).

Elevators play a video collage mural named Civilization, which is based on Dante’s Divine Comedy and was created specifically for The Standard by Marco Brambilla (who also did Kanye’s Power video). As the elevator rises the video (which is projected from the roof) ascends from the depths of hell, moves through purgatory, and into heaven at the top floor. Vice-versa on the way down.

In 2014, elevator footage of Solange Knowles assaulting Jay-Z went viral.

The High Line (2009)

Covered in the Chelsea post.

Whitney Museum of American Art (2015, founded 1931)

After the MET refused 500 works of art from Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1929, it led to the creation of the Whitney exclusively for 20th and 21st century American art — with a preference for exhibiting living artists (the museum will not sell any work by a living artist, but it will trade for another work by the same artist). Permanent collection of more than 21,000 objects.

Located in the Upper East Side from 1966 to 2014, moved to the current location in 2015 with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Michelle Obama and Bill de Blasio. The only permanent artworks are the four main elevators. The four observation decks are connected by an outdoor staircase. In 1976, an unconventional exhibit of live body builders featured Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Artists include Albers, Bourgeois, Calder, Gorky, Haring, Hopper, Johns, Kline, de Kooning, Pollock, Rauschenberg, Rothko, Stella, Warhol and O’Keeffe.


Honorable Mentions

  • St. Anthony of Padua Church* (1880). The first parish in the US specifically for the Italian community. Nearby Father Fagan Park (1941) dedicated to a young friar who died saving two others during a 1938 blaze.
  • Hotel Albert (1877). The St. Stephen Hotel (1877), 24 French flats (1883), one-story (1891), twelve-story building (1904) and six-story (1924) buildings were converted (1977) to rental apartments as The Albert. Famous guests include Albert Ryder, Augustus St. Gaudens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Anaïs Nin, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Lowell, Horton Foote, Salvador Dalí, Philip Guston, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.
  • Tony Dapolito Recreation Center* (1908). Formerly the Carmine Street Bathhouse, the swimming pool features a large 1987 mural by Keith Haring.
  • Village Cigars* (1922). Hess triangle on the sidewalk is a small tiled mosaic, the result of a property dispute over a missed piece during eminent domain reclamation by the city. The city asked the family to donate the property to the public, but they chose to install this defiant mosaic in 1922. In 1938, the “smallest plot in the city” was sold to the Village Cigars for $1,000 ($2 per square-inch).
  • La Bonbonniere* (1930s). Claimed to be named after the original French owner and with a distinctive Coca-cola sign. Walls are covered with photographs of famous diners including Ethan Hawke, Molly Shannon and James Gandolfini.
  • O. Ottomanelli and Sons* (1930s). Family-run butcher specializing in game meats (such as kangaroo) that runs a separate burger joint a few doors down. In 2017, investigated for hate crimes after staff handed a black delivery man a noose.
  • Casa Oliveira* (1935). Two 1940s neon signs, gold leaf lettering on the windows and yellow vinyl shading.
  • Arthur’s Tavern* (1937). The oldest continuously-operated jazz club in the city. Performers include Charlie Parker and Roy Hargrove.
  • Winston Churchill Square* (1943, rebuilt 1999). Named in honor of Sir Winston Churchill — who lived a №20 Downing Street in London.
  • Spring Street Park (1945). Also known as SoHo Square — although it is not actually in SoHo — and features a statue of a famous Uruguayan independence leader.
  • Arturo’s* (1957). Pizzeria famed for its coal-oven whole pies and live jazz.
  • New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture* (1963, building 1931). The former Whitney Museum of American Art.
  • O’Toole Medical Services Building (1964). Architecturally unique building designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Corner Bistro* (1967). Old-school New York tavern with Mahogany bar, McSorley’s beer, and famous Bistro Burger. Once bartended by Yoko Ono!
  • The House of Oldies* (1968). Small record shop specializing in rare vinyl from the ’50s, ’60s and ‘70s.
  • Quad Cinema (1972, reopened 2017). One of the oldest independent cinemas in the city and first theater in the city to have multiple screens under one roof. Andy Warhol was a regular patron. Closed in 2015 for renovations.
  • Joe’s Pizza (1975). Also called Famous Joe’s Pizza. Briefly closed in 2005. Celebrity visits from Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Cuba Gooding Junior, Oscar De LaHoya, Jimmy Fallon, Selena Gomez, and Meghan Lee. Featured in Spider-Man 2. Currently three locations.
  • Pino’s Prime Meat Market* (1978). Occupies a space that has been a butcher shop for nearly a century, and in the same family for 70 years. Contains a 200-year-old butcher block and sawdust on the floor to soak up blood. Featured in The Godfather, Part II and The Pope of Greenwich Village.
  • Greenwich Locksmith* (1980). Exterior made of painted keys arranged in swirling designs (installed 2010).
  • Blue Note Jazz Club* (1981). One of the world’s most famous and most expensive jazz venues — having hosted Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Oscar Peterson and Ray Charles (for a full week every year). Locations around the world and launched a live record label in 2001.
  • LaGuardia Corner Gardens (1982).
  • Threes Lives & Company* (1983, founded 1978). Independent bookstore.
  • Cafe Vivaldi* (1983). Jazz cafe featured in films by Woody Allen and Al Pacino. Customers have included Andy Warhol and Bette Midler.
  • Cubbyhole* (1994). Longtime lesbian bar with a large collection of Chinese lanterns, model airplanes, and polka-dotted fish.
  • Smalls Jazz Club* (1994, reopened 2004). Starting as a raw basement space ($10, BYO, open day and night, stay as long as you like) that went bankrupt in 2002.
  • Chess Forum (1995). After an ownership agreement, opened directly across the street by a former employee of the Village Chess Shop (the oldest chess store in the Village until closing in 2012) — which triggered a chess “civil war.”
  • Magnolia Bakery (1996). Began making cupcakes with leftover cake batter before starting the 1990s “cupcake craze.” Featured in Lazy Sunday, SNL, Sex and the City, Prime, Spin City and The Devil Wears Prada.
  • Employees Only* (2004). Award-winning speakeasy started by industry veterans. At closing bowls of chicken noodle soup are brought out from the kitchen — a tradition from when the bar first opened.
  • Pegu Club* (2005). Renowned cocktail bar named after a gin cocktail created at an 1880s Victorian-style Gentlemen’s club in Burma. Former employees have gone on to create Death & Co., PDT, The Happiest Hour and Attaboy.
  • Jacques Torres Chocolate (2007). Flagship chocolate store and former manufacturing premises (now in Brooklyn) — replaced in 2017 by Choco-Story New York: The Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres.
  • American Numismatic Society* (2008, founded 1858). Foremost coin and currency collection in the world with over 800,000 books, coins, notes, medals and tokens. Highlights include medals and decoration from 4,000BC, coins from 700BC, and rare purple wampum. Maintains an online database named MANTIS.
  • The Greene Space* (2009). The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space on the ground floor of New York Public Radio’s headquarters.
  • Ansonia Pharmacy* (2010, founded 1933). After 77 years, relocated two doors away losing its rotating front window art gallery — which hosted an average of eleven displays per year for fourteen years.
  • Houston Hall (2012). 1907 garage with cobblestones and 50-foot wood beams and trusses, towering antique mirrors and muddled brick walls. FBI parking garage during Prohibition. Currently a beer hall.
  • Carmine Street Comics (2013). Former location of All Comics and displaying a light-up sign from Village Comics — once the city’s largest comic shop. Shares a store with Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books.
  • Chumley’s* (2013, building 1922). The city’s most famous speakeasy was frequented by Scott Fitzgerald (who had a regular table), Eugene O’Neill and Allen Ginsberg. Destroyed in 2007 and revived in 2013.
  • AIDS Memorial (2016). Honoring over 100,000 New Yorker’s who died of AIDS and opened on World AIDS Day. Consists of an 18-foot steel canopy comprised of triangles.
  • Spring Street Salt Shed (2016). Stores 5,000 tonnes of salt from Chile and Argentina used by the Department of Sanitation when it snows. 70-feet tall with 6-foot thick walls, the shed is shaped in such a way that the salt can naturally assume a slanting position.